Regular-article-logo Monday, 25 September 2023

Cong slams BJP over poll ‘fraud’ in Assam

Party alleges manipulation in counting

Our Special Correspondent Guwahati Published 16.12.18, 07:12 PM
Congress workers protest in front of the revenue circle office in Hajo on Sunday.

Congress workers protest in front of the revenue circle office in Hajo on Sunday. Picture by UB Photos

The Assam Congress has alleged largescale manipulation by the BJP in counting of panchayat poll votes in the state.

PCC general secretary Kishor Bhattacharyya told reporters here on Sunday that instead of showing respect for the people’s mandate, the BJP resorted to foul play to swing the poll results in their favour at several places.


He accused the ruling party of influencing the counting of votes by misusing the government machinery.

“The blatant misuse of the administrative machinery by the BJP poses a serious threat to democracy,” he said.

Bhattacharyya alleged that many BJP candidates in Kamrup, Nalbari and Majuli districts, despite securing fewer votes, had been illegally declared elected after recounting. “There were instances of votes being recounted thrice to declare the BJP candidates as winners through fraudulent means,” he said.

“One of our party workers, Bapukan Ali, was arrested by the police at Jalukbari by framing false cases against him,” he alleged.

Assam PCC general secretary Dulu Ahmed said even after declaring Congress zilla parishad candidate of Hajo, Ajit Thakuria, winner at 11pm on December 13, the next day, BJP candidate Bipul Das was declared winner after recounting of votes, which was a total “farce”.

“When the recounting of votes was going on, our counting agents were assaulted and chased away from the counting hall by the BJP and RSS supporters though it is mandatory that no votes can be counted unless the counting agents of all the candidates are present at the counting hall. Our repeated complaints to Kamrup deputy commissioner Kamal Baishya fell on deaf ears,” he said.

“They illegally declared the BJP candidate (Bipul Das) elected because he is the brother of influential RSS leader Shankar Das,” Ahmed alleged.

He said they have filed a petition in Gauhati High Court, challenging the recounting of votes that were earlier declared invalid to secure Das’s victory through fraud.

“The case will come up for hearing on Monday,” he said.

The Congress workers led by Ahmed also staged protests in front of the revenue circle office at Hajo on Sunday against alleged fraud committed by the BJP during counting of votes.

A Congress delegation led by general secretary Durga Das Boro met the Kamrup deputy commissioner and lodged a complaint.

Reacting to allegations levelled by the Congress, state BJP spokesperson Rupam Goswami said the Congress might have committed frauds during the elections held while they were in power and that is why they were sniffing foul play in this election.

“As the state election commission is autonomous and neutral, nobody can influence the polls. Instead of making baseless allegations, the Congress is free to approach the court for redressal of their grievances,” Goswami said.

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